By Joseph Tawie
KUCHING – A former Sarawak National Party (SNAP) vice-president has demanded that the party’s entire Central Working Committee including its president Edwin Dundang (left) resign en bloc and take responsibility for the April 16 polls fiasco.
Declining to reveal his name, the former Sarawak Assistant Minister said: “They know who I am … they should all resign.
“They should be courageous enough to claim responsibility for the dismal performances of their candidates who all except one lost their deposits,” he said adding that it was irrelevant whether the party remained in Pakatan Rakyat or not.
The former Julau assemblyman described SNAP’s ties with Pakatan as ‘immaterial’ as party had ‘lost its credibility.’
“Whether SNAP is out of the Pakatan Rakyat or not is immaterial.
“The most important thing is for the CWC members – from the president downward – to resign and elect new committee members in order to bring credibility and integrity to the party.”
He was commenting on reports quoting SNAP secretary-general Stanley Jugol who on Friday said the party had severed its ties with Pakatan.
Jugol was quoted as saying that the 50-year-old SNAP had decided to quit Pakatan after it was sidelined following disagreements on seat allocation.
“We are no longer in Pakatan. We are now on our own,” he had said adding that it was meaningless for the party to remain in the coalition as it was no longer invited to attend any functions or meetings organised by the opposition alliance.
Speaking to FMT yesterday, the former SNAP vice president said: “SNAP has lost its credibility and cannot claim itself to represent the Dayaks anymore.
“The recent state election clearly showed that the Dayaks have rejected the party especially under the current leadership.
“SNAP cannot rely on history and its past glory to win back the Dayaks’ support for the party, especially the young Dayaks who do not know even who SNAP’s Stephen Kalong Ningkan was.
“These young people cannot be bothered with past history as they are more interested with what the party can offer them in the future,” he said.
In 1974 SNAP won 18 state seats and nine parliamentary seats in the Dayak majority constituencies. Its leader, Ningkan was made Sarawak’s first chief minister. But their immaculate pedigree was of little use in last month’s polls.
Going into the election SNAP was already at loggerheads with PKR over seat allocation.
Refusing to compromise SNAP went ahead and contested in 27 Dayak majority constituencies with Dundang boastfully declaring they had the support of Dayaks.
In the end 26 candidates including Dundang lost their deposits.
Meanwhile, Jugol today clarified his Friday statement.
He said it was his personal opinion that SNAP should pull out of Pakatan.
“The CWC members have not met to discuss the issue (pulling out), but I believe it is the general feelings of the CWC members as well as members of the party that it should leave the Pakatan Rakyat.
“What appeared in the local press that the party has severed its ties with the Pakatan Rakyat was my personal opinion,” he added.
Meawnhile Sarawak PKR information chief See Chee How when contacted said that it was not surprising that SNAP pulled out of Pakatan considering what its leaders did and acted before the state election.
He said SNAP had some good grassroots members, whom he thought would be good SNAP leaders in the future.
“But now some of them have started to join PKR… now they realised that the party is only an empty vehicle which is not able to serve the interests of the party and members of the Dayak community,” he said. – FMT